Richard Wright Writing Styles in Native Son

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Point of View

An important technique employed in Native Son is a third-person-limited narrative structure. This technique reveals all the action in the novel but limits it to the perspective of the central character. The narrative voice, then, takes on the vantage point of—but does not become—Bigger Thomas. Consequently, other characters appear flat because they are visible only through this limiting filter.

One advantage of this technique is that the reader becomes close to the protagonist. In other words, since the point of the novel is to reveal the mind of a dehumanized black man cornered in the ghetto, the reader must identify with Bigger. Wright wanted readers to understand how hostile the American environment is to those who have already been excluded based on skin color.

Setting

In Native Son, Wright suggests that environmental conditions play a role in Bigger's psychodrama. Bigger sees the...

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This section contains 506 words
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Native Son from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.